Wednesday, April 7, 2010

False Negative

False Negative is Type II error (also known as the error of excessive skepticism).  It is also known as the oversight error - believing the premise (based on observations) when in fact it is false.  Or in lawyer's terms ruling the defendant innocent when in fact he is guilty.

Last night I told the Trustees that "I was paid to be a skeptic on conversion dates".  Excessive skepticism is viewed as counter productive, anti progress, and pessimistic attitude.  There is a reason they use the term "Devils Advocate". 

There is no right answer on which is worse - False Positives or False Negatives (the cynic or the gullible). Both can be solved with infinite sample sizes in statistics.

It's like politics - you need emphasis on both "False" errors - Republicans and Democrats :)

Or maybe you are experiencing TYPE III error -  using the wrong null hypothesis (asking the wrong question).

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